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4 Spectacular Light Experiences in the Northern Territory

Follow the Red Centre Light Trail to discover spectacular shows lighting up the skies above Uluru, Kings Canyon and Alice Springs

Wintjiri Wiru Kurpany. Image Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia
Wintjiri Wiru Kurpany. Image: Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia

1. Wintjiri Wiru, Uluru

This fully immersive light and sound show combines ancient Anangu storytelling with state-of-the-art drone and light technology. Wintjiri Wiru, which means a ‘beautiful view out to the horizon’ in the local Anangu language, marks the first time an experience of this magnitude has been performed on a regular basis anywhere in the world.

Wintjiri Wiru The Trees. Image: Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia
Wintjiri Wiru The Trees. Image: Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia

In the first image as in this last one, Anangu share the Mala story, from Kaltukatjara to Uluru, through a drone, sound and light show designed and produced by RAMUS

The show, which is suitable for families with children aged ten and over, has more than 1,000 choreographed drones, lasers, and projections light up the desert sky in a contemporary, artistic expression of the Mala ancestral story, accompanied by narration in local Aboriginal languages and a traditional Inma soundtrack. Wintjiri Wiru was launched in 2023 and created in close collaboration with the local Anangu community, who consulted on the project, provided story narration and advised on the visuals.

Voyages Ayers Rock Resort will host two shows every night from March until December, with one show a night in January and February. The signature experience is the three-hour Wintjiri Wiru Sunset Dinner, which includes welcome cocktails and canapés at sunset, followed by a gourmet dinner hamper celebrating native ingredients and paired with premium Australian wines. Wintjiri Wiru After Dark is a shorter, one-and-a-half-hour experience that includes wattle seed caramel popcorn and gelato featuring native ingredients.

2. Field of Light, Uluru

British artist Bruce Munro’s Field of Light installation, called Tili Wiru Tjuta Nyakutjaku or ‘looking at lots of beautiful lights’ in the local Pitjantjatjara language, continues to draw visitors to the Red Centre.

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Field of Light at Uluru. Image: Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia - Mark Pickthall

Illuminated against the backdrop of Uluru and under a star-studded sky, this is a mesmerising installation of 50,000 spindles of light, whose stems sway through a coloured spectrum of ochre, deep violet, blue and gentle white. Suitable for families with children five and over, Field of Light is available to book in three sessions — a self-guided Field of Light Pass, A Night at Field of Light dining experience and star talk, and a Field of Light Star Pass, featuring panoramic views from an exclusive dune top, outback canapés and drinks.

3. Light-Towers, Kings Canyon

Launched in 2023, the Light-Towers installation is the second permanent light and sound installation in the Red Centre from artist Bruce Munro, following his widely acclaimed Field of Light.

Light Towers at Kings Canyon
Light Towers at Kings Canyon

The installation at Discovery Resorts – Kings Canyon consists of 69 two-metre towers that change colour in response to music emanating from within, taking guests on an immersive aural and visual journey against the spectacular backdrop of the canyon wall. The experience is bookable in three ticketed sessions: Light-Towers at Sunrise, Light-Towers at Sunset and Light-Towers by Night. The sunrise and sunset sessions are both hosted by a local guide and include a food and beverage package. Guests of the By Night experience are invited to take advantage of a revamped food and beverage outlet on the Luritja Lookout before or after their session.

4. Parrtjima – A Festival in Light, Alice Springs

The only Aboriginal light festival of its kind, Parrtjima is a free 10-night celebration of Aboriginal art, culture and music that takes place each April at Alice Springs Desert Park. 

Families enjoying Parrtjima A Festival in Light Grounded display. Image: Parrtjima 2023
Families enjoying Parrtjima A Festival in Light Grounded display. Image: Parrtjima 2023

The program includes the illumination of the West MacDonnell Ranges, large-scale light and sound installations, workshops, films, talks and performances. The first Ranges Light Show takes place at 7pm each night and repeats every 15 minutes after that. While the alcohol-free event is free, you must register to receive your ticket, that will provide you entry into Desert Park on one or more nights. Sign up via the website to find out when registrations for next year’s event open.

The writer travelled as a guest of Voyages Indigenous Tourism

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